I want to share my favorite tool for organizing my life, work and side hustle. Meet: Microsoft One Note. Last week on Young Adult Money, Cat wrote about How to Streamline Your Side Hustle. One of Cat’s tips was to utilize tools. It’s a great tip! If you are looking for a way to get organized, then you should definitely consider trying OneNote.
What is OneNote?
OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Most of us are familiar with Word, PowerPoint and Excel.. but for whatever reason, Microsoft doesn’t really seem to market this program. It’s a super versatile note taking program. It’s literally meant to function like a digital notebook. You can create as many notebooks as you need and add as many pages to each notebook as you would like. I’ve been using this program for about a year and it seems like I’m still learning about all of its functionality. If you are familiar with Microsoft programs then learning how to use OneNote should be fairly painless. It has very similar functionality and is formatted like other Microsoft programs.
OneNote Features I Love
1) Auto-Save. You no longer need to worry about remember to hit “save”. Everything is always saved.
2) Notebook pages. Add pages, delete pages, move pages from one notebook to another. OneNote is super flexible.
3) Compatible with Outlook. I use this feature a lot at my day job. See the Outlook section of the ribbon on the far right? With the click of a button I can email notes to someone, add a task to my calendar or include meeting details in my notes. I know this might not sound that exciting but it is super helpful.
4) Add whatever you want to your notes. You can store basically any type of documents you want in OneNote. You can attach and/or embed emails, PDF’s, pictures, Excel workbooks, tables, etc. You can make your notes as detailed and as resourceful as you want. When I started my current job, I relied on OneNote a lot to take notes for all my new duties. Being able to add links, and emails to my notes made them really easy to follow. Everything I needed was in one place. My boss even asked for a copy of my notes for her own personal reference : )
5) Impress your coworkers (or yourself). Not many people in my office use One Note. I’ve been by a handful of different people about the program I use and if I can show them how to use it. I’ve even been asked to give a presentation/demonstration at our next staff meeting on the program.
6) Search. Did you take notes and now can’t find them? Use OneNote’s search function one the right hand side. It is super powerful and can even read words on PDF’s. I’m human and have occasionally been unable to locate notes I need. That search tool solves the problem every time.
Adapting to a new organizing tool takes time
If you are thinking about trying OneNote, I highly recommend it. Especially if you already have the Microsoft Office Suite then you likely already have the program so it’s free for you!! Just give it a little time. It takes time to redesign your note taking and organizing habits. Seriously, it does take some effort and patience. I remember originally thinking I wasn’t crazy about OneNote. Now I can’t imagine working without it.
If you would like to see more on OneNote, here is good tutorial: